When children, particularly teenagers, congregate in large groups, it tends to make adults nervous. It's also the cause of many curfew laws and ordinances that restrict juveniles from being in public places at certain hours. Curfew laws are very common, especially in cities, though some states have adopted statewide curfew laws as well. Not all cities or states have curfew laws or ordinances, and restrictions can differ significantly.
The law treats crimes committed by children very differently than adults. Criminal acts by juveniles—people under the age of 18—are dealt with through the juvenile justice system instead of the criminal justice system.
When a person under the age of 18 commits a crime, that person is usually not dealt with in the criminal justice system, but rather through the juvenile justice system. The juvenile system has its own courts, judges, prosecutors, and rules. However, the crime of shoplifting is the same for juveniles as it is for adults. The only difference is how a juvenile court handles the case.
A juvenile can be charged with simple assault for injuring another person, threatening to or attempting to injure another person or even making another person afraid. In this day and age, fights, threats, and roughhousing that were once considered a part of growing up can lead to serious criminal charges.
When a juvenile—a person under the age of 18—commits a crime, the act is dealt with through the juvenile justice system and not the criminal justice system. However, the offenses juvenile courts deal with are largely the same as those dealt with in adult courts. All states, for example, criminalize theft and burglary, and a juvenile who commits these offenses can face juvenile charges.
The crime of vandalism, sometimes called malicious mischief, criminal mischief, or property damage, occurs whenever someone intentionally damages property that belongs to someone else. Juvenile vandalism is any vandalism performed by a person under the age of 18.
Juvenile delinquency can include everything from an eighth grader skipping school to a child shoplifting from a neighborhood retailer, to a 17-year-old committing murder. Whenever children under the age of 18 (minors) are accused of committing crimes, they are dealt with (at least initially) by the juvenile justice system in the state in which they live.
All states limit the right to purchase, own, or possess weapons to some extent, though restrictions differ widely. States commonly make it a crime to possess specific types of weapons, to possess weapons in specified locations, or to use weapons in a prohibited manner. When juveniles illegally possesses weapons, they can be charged just like an adult would.
Since cell phones first saw widespread adoption in the 1990s, they've become not just ever present, but have developed vastly expanded capabilities, such as the ability to take and instantly share photos.
Junior and some of his high school pals broke into a neighbor’s garage and made off with some expensive tools. They got busted and now, on top of the headache of hiring a lawyer for junior, you find yourself charged with violating your parental duty to supervise your child. But you did not even learn of the theft until the cops showed up two days later. Can you be convicted?
From Brian Wilson’s “Little Deuce Coupe” to the Boss’s “Pink Cadillac,” teenagers and automobiles have always gone together like Prince and platform shoes. Once those teenagers grow up and become parents, they find that the iconic American pairing of kids and cars can lead to a lot of heartache, including lawsuits.
Children who are witnesses to or victims of crimes may be ordered to testify in criminal cases. Generally, judges decide on a case-by-case basis whether a child is competent (qualified) to testify. But, even if a child is subpoenaed (ordered) to testify and found competent, there are steps the court